SCEP SPOLIGHT: News from the University of Southampton’s Connecting Culture project

A student at Mount Pleasant Junior School in Bevois, Southampton, with their Arts Award Discover certificate 


Today we are spotlighting the Connecting Culture research project, led by the Arts and Culture team at University of Southampton and supported by Arts Council England. The project has recently reached the end of its ambitious ‘Creative Consultation’ programme of artist-led creative workshops held with children and young people in Southampton. With children at the heart, the research explores the question of how Southampton’s thriving Cultural Quarter can enrich their lives as a future creative hub.  

A total of 25 workshops took place at 15 schools and youth settings across the city, with around 600 of Southampton’s young people taking part. All participants earned themselves an Arts Award Discover certificate for their efforts and, at a special presentation at Mount Pleasant Junior School, certificates were awarded to around 70 of their year 6 students.

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SCEP SPOTLIGHT: University of Southampton’s Activity Pack Scheme

In this SCEP SPOTLIGHT post, we take a look at the Activity Pack scheme run by SCEP member University of Southampton.

Within just over a year, the Activity Pack scheme from University of Southampton transformed from a 2,500-pack initiative meant to address the digital divide exacerbated by the first COVID-19 lockdown (which saw families with limited or no access to the internet or suitable devices further disadvantaged), into a project that has distributed a further 18,000 packs nationally via schools, charities, and youth organisations.

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SCEP SPOTLIGHT: Liam Gifford and The Nuffield Collective

By Paige Michel-Strachan

In our next SCEP SPOTLIGHT post, we’re profiling SCEP member Liam Gifford and his work with The Nuffield Collective. Our SCEP SPOTLIGHT series sheds light on the diverse membership of the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership (SCEP) and the brilliant work they do.

Liam Gifford is a theatre-maker, qualified teacher and engagement professional who specialises in leading community projects and directing plays with and for theatre-makers of all ages and backgrounds at all levels. He studied at Dartington College of Arts where he gained an honours degree in Theatre, and then later achieved a PGCE qualification in Drama at Aberystwyth University. Now, Liam plays an important role in leading and mentoring The Nuffield Collective.

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SCEP SPOTLIGHT: SoCo Music Project and Sounds of Southampton Vol. 1

By Paige Michel Strachan

Welcome to our brand-new series, SCEP SPOTLIGHT, in which we will be shedding light on the diverse membership of the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership (or SCEP) and the brilliant work they do. Our members are organisations and individuals who have create positive change in Southampton, making arts and creativity accessible for children and young people.

First up on SCEP SPOTLIGHT, we will be profiling SCEP member SoCo Music Project. SoCo is a national charity investing in music-making projects which support children and young people aged 0-25 to develop personally and socially as well as musically. They particularly work with those who do not have the opportunity to make music because of their circumstances, where they live, or what they’re going through.

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